“Hold On” promises someone, “I’ll never let you go.” A similarly selfless vow characterizes “I Will Protect You.” Scattered lines reveal a search for purpose and meaning.
That quest for hope, articulated by lead singer Jonathan Davis, yields little uplift. Lots of anguish and despair. The artist claims to be schizophrenic on “B–ch We Got a Problem,” one of several songs that spout the f-word. Bitterness and hatred flow through “Kiss,” “Ever Be” and “Love and Luxury,” which appears to be a venomous response to Brian “Head” Welch leaving the band and converting to Christianity (“I read your little book, Head/Ha ha ha ha”). Davis flaunts his disdain for rules—religious mandates in particular—and would rather die than “Do What They Say.” Whether literal or symbolic, references to death on “Starting Over” and “Hushabye” find a man preferring the dark unknown to the painful present. The latter may allude to suicide (“This sunny Sunday is a good day to go”). Photos show one band member decapitating himself, another crucified on a cross made of guitar necks, and Davis enthroned in a collapsing cathedral, children in his hands and a murdered animal at his feet.
Earnest requests for answers aside, Korn more often throws up its hands in raw, bitter futility.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews.